Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Chess: The Board is the Heart of Chess

It's a perfect summer day and I'm in one of the most beautiful places in the world on days like today: Nantasket Beach. I reach for my trusty beach companion for 15 plus years a Sony water resistant AM/FM radio only to realize it has died. No WBUR today.

No worries man - I'm in Paradise.

My chess coach IM Marc Esserman wants me to work at solving problems and combinations so I'll just reach back in my bag and pull out Forcing Chess Moves by Charles Hertan and work thru them. OOOp's somehow I forgot to pack the book.

No worries man - I'm in Paradise.

I sit back and soak in warm sun, the blue waters, the infinite blue sky, the cooling breezes, the surf pounding on the beach.

Breathing......... Breathing……………

I start thinking about the chess problems I solved yesterday and inventory the un-intuitive properties realized with each solution to which comes an epiphany:

the characteristics of the board are as equally important as the characteristics of the pieces. That those 64 squares may first appear static but in fact are the obverse of the pieces and the squares are bent and contorted by the pieces. Spend some time to inventory the properties of where the pieces aren’t.

So the board is a volcano at the center whose eruption might send a tsunami onto h7. The board can be as mysterious, insurmountable, and elusive as Tora Bora. Or the board is calm as a glass like ocean, enshrouded in a foggy rhine, having a pawn secretly steeling to metamorphosis. We should ask what are the squares like in this situation? What is it doing or not doing to my pieces?

Suddenly I am awakened out of my meditations: A very intelligent seagull is trying to advance on my rewrapped half-eaten sub sandwich. Even Paradise has its snakes.

No worries man I'm in Paradise.

Mr Philidor you got it half right.

What are your feelings of the influence of the board in positions and do you have any examples?

Please Comment

Thank You

Mike Griffin


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